UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Studios Hollywood marked the opening of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™" with legendary Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Grammy award-winning composer John Williams conducting the L.A. Philharmonic synchronized to a spectacularly choreographed three dimensional digital lighting projection on Hogwarts castle. A dynamic fireworks display followed to signal the much-anticipated arrival of this incredibly immersive land.
"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" officially opens to the public on Thursday, April 7.
Joining in the celebration were Harry Potter film talent, including Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), and Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), as well as Stuart Craig (Production Designer, Harry Potter films and "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter"). Other celebrities included Mindy Kaling ("The Mindy Project"), Thandie Newton ("Crash"), Vanessa Hudgens ("Grease Live"), Ed O'Neill ("Modern Family"), Jaime Camil ("Jane the Virgin"), Emmy Award-winner Greg Nicotero (Executive Producer, "The Walking Dead"); Emmy Award-winner Chris Hardwick (Comedian/host, "The Talking Dead"), Alanna Masterson ("The Walking Dead"), and Golden Globe-winning actor, Billy Bob Thornton, among others.
Also in attendance were Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood; Tom Williams, Chairman & CEO, Universal Parks & Resorts; Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; Mark Woodbury, President, Universal Creative; Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment; filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
"Today is a very exciting and historically significant day for us," said Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood. "This incredible event to celebrate the opening of 'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter' marks the pinnacle of years of hard work and the beginning of a new generation of Universal Studios Hollywood. With over 75 percent completely reimagined, Universal Studios Hollywood is an entirely new theme park destination and we look forward to sharing everything that the Entertainment Capital of L.A. has to offer with visitors from around the world."
"In Los Angeles, tourism is surging. We've set records each of the last five years and we're just getting started," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "'The Wizarding World of Harry Potter' at Universal Studios Hollywood is monumental in expanding our city's global reach. It sends a message to visitors from across the world that L.A. is a place you and your family have to experience. I'm proud to see this game-changing world-class attraction open. Universal Studios Hollywood's epic transformation will create new jobs, stimulate hospitality revenues and make our economy stronger."
More than five years in the making, and inspired by J.K. Rowling's compelling stories and characters that were brought to life in the Warner Bros. films, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" has been masterfully recreated with impeccable detail as a real-world interpretation at Universal Studios Hollywood. The land is faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which serves as its iconic focal point.
From its snow-capped roofs and cobblestone streets to the historic British sensibilities that characterize the whimsical look and feel of the land, "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" transports guests of all ages to the very places they read about in the stories or watched on the silver screen.
Upon entering the land through the archway, Hogsmeade bustles to life with the same vitality of a quaint local village: merchants hard at work, a train conductor welcoming new arrivals and a pub packed to the gills with hungry patrons, but with the added element of enthusiastic guests intent on experiencing them all, including the land's signature ride, "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey," and the family outdoor coaster, "Flight of the Hippogriff™."
An achievement in pioneering theme park ride technology, "Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey" makes its U.S. debut at Universal Studios Hollywood in hyper-realistic 3D-HD designed to further immerse guests in an already engaging storyline. The multidimensional thrill ride features a groundbreaking robotics ride system, fused with elaborate filmed action sequences and immersive visceral effects. In this updated adaptation of the ride, guests sport Quidditch-inspired 3D goggles as they venture through journeys experienced by Harry and his friends, spiraling and pivoting 360-degrees along an elevated ride track on a whirlwind adventure of a lifetime.
Also within "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter," the enchanting family coaster, "Flight of the Hippogriff™" opens as Universal Studios Hollywood's first outdoor roller coaster.
"The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" resonates with immense detail, inviting guests to revel in Harry Potter's world with the opportunity to enjoy authentic food and beverage at multiple locations, including Three Broomsticks™, and Hog's Head pub, as well as the Magic Neep and Butterbeer™ carts.
A foray through the shops adds to the authenticity of the land with eight retail venues and locations, including Honeydukes™, Ollivanders™, Owl Post™, Zonko's™ Joke Shop, Wiseacre's Wizarding Equipment, Dervish and Banges, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch's Emporium of Confiscated Goods™.
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About Universal Studios Hollywood: Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the "5 Towers" state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the all-new "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™" and renowned, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour featuring the intense "King Kong 360 3-D" attraction and the "Fast & Furious—Supercharged" thrill ride as the Studio Tour's grand finale. Other popular rides include the 3D-HD adventure, "Despicable Me Minion Mayhem" and immersive "Super Silly Fun Land," the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, "Transformers™: The Ride-3D," "Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride," "Jurassic Park® —The Ride," "Springfield," hometown of America's favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning "The Simpsons Ride™" the "Nighttime Studio Tour" which runs on select evenings, and soon-to-open "The Walking Dead" permanent attraction, debuting Summer 2016.
About Warner Bros. Entertainment: Warner Bros. Entertainment is a global leader in all forms of entertainment and their related businesses across all current and emerging media and platforms. A Time Warner Company, the fully integrated, broad-based studio is home to one of the most successful collections of brands in the world and stands at the forefront of every aspect of the entertainment industry from feature film, television and home entertainment production and worldwide distribution to DVD, digital distribution, animation, comic books, video games, product, and brand licensing, international cinemas and broadcasting.
HARRY POTTER, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR.
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SOURCE Universal Studios Hollywood